Interview APP Founder – April Bliz
Name Founder: April Bliz
Name Company: Trailblazing VR
Name App: WAR of the AI
Category App: AR Game
Is the App created for a certain country/area or worldwide: Worldwide (Translated into 5 additional languages as well)
About April Bliz (the Founder)
April is the founder of Trailblazing VR, a company pursuing pioneering opportunities in virtual reality, eSports and mobile gaming. She has quickly established a name for herself in the VR industry and was asked by the Government of Busan, South Korea, to share her knowledge of the US VR market, alongside other major corporations including Samsung and HTC. She was one of the keynote speakers for this event and was the only female to speak during the three-day conference. April was also recently selected to be part of a select group to participate in the Oculus LaunchPad.
Before starting her own company, April gained several years of management experience at a top ranked Fortune 500 company. Years of continually proving her innovative thinking and leadership led to several promotions throughout different departments.
This experience was gained at a signifiant Berkshire Hathaway owned subsidiary. In this prestigious organization, she earned management positions by continually proving her competency, accuracy and most importantly, character. She worked closely with directors, the State of Florida, staff counsel and supervisors throughout the region as she and her team oversaw the region’s 2,000 employees.
How did this adventure all started?
It all started when April read Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, it was the beginning of a new life for her. That book, along with many more, caused her to jump tracks and force her life down a different path.
Evenings that were once filled with The Food Network were now dominated with reading business magazines and conducting research. She felt a total shift in her mind and began to see things differently and constantly question everything around her. Ideas began coming at such a rate of speed that she began carrying a notebook on her at all times.
As Founder of this fantastic App, what was your motivation to create such an App?
AB: “It’s such an exciting time with new technologies, such as VR, AR and 360. I’m getting my foot into the door in all of these areas plus eSports. When people use an AR* App for the first time, their faces light up, it’s almost magical! Apple has made it even easier to create AR Apps with their ARKit, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.”
(* Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated or extracted real-world sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, haptics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called computer-mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. Augmented reality enhances one’s current perception of reality, whereas in contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one. Augmented reality is used in order to enhance the experienced environments or situations and to offer enriched experiences. Originally, the immersive augmented reality experiences were used in entertainment and game businesses, but now other business industries are also getting interested about AR’s possibilities for example in knowledge sharing, educating, managing the information flood and organizing distant meetings. Augmented reality has a lot of potential in gathering and sharing tacit knowledge. Augmentation techniques are typically performed in real time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as overlaying supplemental information like scores over a live video feed of a sporting event.
With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. Information about the environment and its objects is overlaid on the real world. This information can be virtual or real, e.g. seeing other real sensed or measured information such as electromagnetic radio waves overlaid in exact alignment with where they actually are in space. Augmented reality brings out the components of the digital world into a person’s perceived real world.)
Why should Users download this App?
AB: “This game is fun, relevant, challenging and it all takes place in augmented reality; what’s not to love!”
What are the advantages compared to other similar App’s?
AB: “There are few AR shooter games available, this one stands out in several ways. The game play is perfect, the art is incredible and there are layers of unexpected excitement.”
Can you tell something about the proces, challenges, hurdles and time spend from the moment you start (The Idea) till the moment you launched the App at the AppStore / GooglePlay?
AB: “We moved fast on this App, less than 2 months from the idea to submission, but that’s just the way I like it. I like to get started on projects quickly and complete it as soon as possible. Fortunately, I had people working with me that were on board with that, have the same work ethic and create works of art.
We’re all looking forward to resting a little for 2-3 weeks (during the holidays) and then onto the next projects!”
Once you launched the App in the Appstore / GooglePlay, what did you do to promote this App to your target audience (user group)? Do you think Applepies (as worldwide rating and reviewing Online App Magazine) can have a certain role in this?
AB: “I’m new to the App marketing world, but I’ve been fortunate to know and surrounded myself with people that are experiened. My 3D artist has had several successful App launches and articles written about his Apps in several publications so he’s sharing all his tips; such as creating press releases and reaching out to media.
Facebook ads are part of the plan and I’m friends with a Co-founder whose a pretty heavy hitter in the VR/AR/360 realm who also just realeased an AR App, we’re discussing how we can promote each other.”
You as a visionair, what is your view on the new technologies of the digital smartphone (App) world. Do you think that within 1 to 5 years App’s will be indispensable?
AB: “So App’s will replace manual activities like controlling our home Appliances from your smartphone, talk to your doctor via an App, instead of cash payments pay by your smartphone. Absolutely! Everything is changing at such a rapid pace and there are incredible minds creating our tomorrow, 15 years from now will look nothing like today. Actually, there’s a big project I’m beginning early next year, so include me in the numbers of people that will make sure tomorrow is different and better than today!”
Are you currently (still) looking for investments or funds to finalise or optimize your App?
AB: “This project was self funded. I’ve had a few investors ask if I’m in need of support but there hasn’t been a need or desire to accept. Looking forward to 2018, I would be open to the right investor. There are many projects scheduled for 2018 and with the correct backing, I would be able to tackle VR, AR, 360 and eSports projects at the same time, which would be incredible!”
What is the business model of the App (how does the App earns money?) Think of advertisements, premium subscriptions in the App etc?
AB: “IAP’s (In App purchases) of additional weapons and levels as well as advertisements.”
Last but not least is there anything you want to recommend other App Founders/Creators?
AB: “Be of strong mind and do what you know is right.”